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Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Difference take, when playing 4P vs 3P rss

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DominiGeek
Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo
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Hi, I have a question for those used to playing at different players count.

Is there any fundamental change you make when playing 4P as opposed to 3P?

I'm used to play 3P because is shorter, but I'm planning to start some 4P games soon.

Should I look at some aspects of the game differently because of the different player count?

Thanks
 
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Garth Tams
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There are huge differences between the two player counts. One of the major ones is how the pacts function. In 3p they are more powerful than in a 4 player. Also, military push / event resolution can be more unpredictable in the 4p, with a higher chance of your position being past over. However, there is an additional buffer of the extra player, so some of the age 1 events might miss you when they otherwise would not.

The 1st age and half of the second age will go by at a snails pace. Once 3 or all 4 players have upgraded their government, the 2nd half of the 2nd age and 3rd age will fly by faster than you will anticipate. If you are significantly behind in culture, you will absolutely need a good wonder to make the difference because you will not have the turns to catch up with culture per turn.
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Artur Rymanowski
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I think that the biggest difference is a military focus. With 4 players when you are the weakest there are 3 potentially harmful events or agressions.
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Shawn Fox
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Richardson
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The ratio of yellow cards to players changes a great deal in 2, 3, and 4 player since the number of yellow cards stays the same. In general this requires a bit more investment in production in the 4 player game vs. 2 player since you can't count on being able to pick up as many yellow cards to make up for production deficiencies.

Also there is typically one more round in 4 player vs. 3 or 2 player, even in the new version. This is due to less cards being thrown away at the end of each round (you throw away at most 4 cards/round in 4 player but in 2 and 3 player you throw away as many as 6).

In 4 player it is a lot harder to win by focusing only on military. One player who achieves a large military advantage isn't going to be able to knock out all 3 of the other players in a 4 player game.

The ratio of leaders and wonders to players changes as well. In 4 player it is a lot harder to get a specific leader or wonder than it is in 2 player, thus it becomes a bit harder to build your strategy around getting a specific leader or wonder.
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Shawn Fox
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Zorak wrote:
I think that the biggest difference is a military focus. With 4 players when you are the weakest there are 3 potentially harmful events or agressions.

It depends on what players seed into the event deck. Really your statement is more of a metagame issue than a real difference between 2/3/4 player games. If you play in a group that doesn't want military to be important and thus doesn't play the event cards which reward having the strongest military, much of the advantage for having the strongest military disappears. At that point the only advantage to having the strongest military becomes the rewards for wars and aggressions, which if you don't have a decisive advantage are hard to count on due to defense cards and the added ability in the new version to discard any card for +1 defense. Not to mention you've still got ot actually draw a war or aggression when you need it.
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Jack Liu
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The biggest differences are military and events.

3 Players:
It's much easier for 2 people to go for culture/sci with the odd man out going for military. Military is much easier to block by the 2 passive players though hate drafting, not playing tactics and not seeding events.

One reason for this is the distribution of cards. There are 2/3 copies of most infrastructure techs. Compare that to 2/4 in 4p (outside of A1), the ratio is much better in 3p. The other key difference is that there is only 1 military theory in A3. If you get Napo or A2 strategy, it's much easier for people to just hate draft the military theory and block you from getting enough MA to WoC in A3. In 4p, there are 2 warfare, 1 strategy, 2 military theory.

Also when it comes to leaders/wonders, there are generally ~2 good ones for sci/culture each age. This lines up well for 2 people in a 3p game to go passive with the other person going for the military leaders. In 4p, you see a higher variety in what gets played.

Pacts also make a bigger difference as they affect 2 of the 3 players. So if the two passive players team up and pact each other beneficial stuff (no one wants to help the military leader), this is another way to get ahead of the military player.

Lastly there can be an odd situation in 3p at the end where the military player can only WoC one of the 2 passive players before the endgame and might be a king maker without being able to win themselves. This is possible in 4p but it's not as common

Of course you could say that situations come up where all 3 people are being passive. Or 2 of the 3 go military. These tend to be not as common as the above setup I listed once everyone is experienced due to the distribution of good leaders/cards, which lends itself more to a 2 passive/1 aggressive setup.


4 Players:
There are more players and therefore more targets/events. Going military is more attractive as the benefits are greater and it's easier to pick on a weak player. This causes a bit of an arms race and forces each player to take a more balanced approach to developing their civ.

Due to there only being 2/4 of good techs in A2/3, 2 people will be developing infrastructure while the other 2 will be lagging behind. Therefore they will use military as their bargaining tool by threatening raids/plunder/wars to balance out the effects.

The other factor is that you will see colonies be played more due to more events. Once everyone is comfortable with the military/infrastructure balance, these colonies with colony tech will be more attractive as they give you small boosts in power by trading military. It's another way for the military player to augment their infrastructure. Having irrigation & iron + some colonies is just as good as having selective breeding and coal.


Fundamentally, I believe that TTA is a more complete game at 4p. There are only so many leaders/wonders/tech to go around so with less people, you can just wait for the good ones. With more people, you might get blocked off from the A-tier leaders so the situational leaders will see more play. The military aspect is better balanced at that count as you see a wider range of strategies and more tactics cards get drawn/played/copied.
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